Yesterday was our most relaxed day so far. We woke up around nine and walked along the water (via the Jaffa-Tel Aviv causeway) to the Carmel Market. The Carmel Market is a huge outdoor market that sells everything from touristy trinkets and counterfeit Dolce&Gabbana underwear (I’m starting to realize why Tel Aviv is internationally regarded as one of the most gay-friendly cities) to fruit, spices, and fresh fish from the nearby port. It’s probably a lot to take in on any given day, but yesterday morning was the day before shabbat and the morning before the first Passover Seder. Walking around the Carmel Market yesterday was like trying to take a leisurely stroll through the supermarket the day before Thanksgiving. In short: it was loud, crowded, and generally overwhelming.
Despite that, David and I walked all the way through, pausing only to buy some kalamata olives for a snack. Even with our short visit, I got a taste of the bargaining power of some of the salespeople. On our way out of the market, I stopped to look at a small, painted tin pot. Before I knew what was happening, the salesman was shouting, “For you, half price!” I looked up to find an older, weathered looking man with tufts of white hair around his ears. He was also wearing an apron, which I thought was weird, since his stall only sold kitchen supplies. I looked at him, looked back at the pot, kind of shrugged. He continued, “Ok, 20 shekels,” at which point David noticed that I was no longer behind him and walked up next to the salesperson.
“We don’t even have a kitchen, Alexis. What would you even do with it..” The salesman gave David a sideways look and said in a squeakier tone, “Fifteen shekel. Final.” He already had the pot I had been looking at in a plastic bag in his hand and was trying to hand it to me.
I shook my head, and David took my hand. As we walked away, he shouted at us, “Wait!” I had to ask David later what it was I had been bargaining over: a crappy Turkish coffee pot. Oh well. Good practice if I ever actually want something there.
Afterwards, we walked through an adjacent crafts fair (admittedly, this was a very Alexis type of morning, not so much David. Although he was a good sport.) that had some cool jewelry stalls and some very weird art stalls. One man sold photos he made by re-staging classic movie posters using leggo people he had made to look like hasidic Jews.
We got a little hungry after walking past all of the food stands in the Carmel Market, so we hopped on a bus back to Jaffa, where we split a lunch of hummus with tahina, pickles, Israeli salad, pita, french fries, and falafel. Food here is generally pretty expensive, but our lunch was only about $10 between the two of us! Like seemingly everyone in this country, I like a good deal. We walked home to rest a little bit during the hottest part of the day before heading out again (side note: David is already sunburned. I am not. #winning #tigersblood).
Around six o’clock, we walked to the water’s edge to get some fresh air and watch the sun go down. I finally charged my digital camera, so I will let the pictures do most of the talking.
Looking down the coast from Jaffa to Tel Aviv (from the old part of the city to the new part).
The sun was behind the clouds for most of the sunset, but it was still pretty.
David tries out his photography skills. “I’m an artist…” -David
The colors changed because I was trying out the “sunset” setting on my camera.
This is a public park that looks out on the water. That’s David on the left in the Churchill jacket!
David’ “Why I are you trying to take glamor shots?” -.-
Back to regular lighting at the port.
Dinner after the sun went down: my first Israeli shawarma in laffa (a kind of thin, doughy pita) with five different salads, tahini, and french fries stuck in there for good measure.